Norwood Gymnastics Makes School Record

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Pictured: four squad members taking part  the Individual State Meet.  Left to right - Marion Pastore, Elizabeth Broderick, Jillian Olbrys and Amanda Olbrys.
Issue Date: 
March, 2019
Article Body: 

Under the watchful eyes of head coach Karen Broderick and assistant Christine Heenehan, the Norwood gymnastics team is looking to accomplish something that has never been done before on the high school level. In addition to the Mustangs’ goal of qualifying for the Individual States Tournament, the squad’s ultimate goal is to make it to the Sectional Tournament as a team.
“I believe that if we get to the Sectionals as a team it will be the first time that a Norwood team has been able to achieve this goal,” Broderick said. “We definitely have the capability to do so if we can stay healthy and focused. The girls know what they have to do to accomplish this and have been doing what is needed in practice to make this a reality.”
Norwood has always seemed to have talented gymnasts on their roster, but this year they also have depth, something they really haven’t had in previous seasons.
“In the past, we haven’t had that depth needed to fill out the events if someone got injured or needed a day off,” the coach said. “This year, we are really utilizing the girls in any event that we can to our advantage.”
Senior captains Amanda Olbrys and Charlotte Kelly are both capable of participating in all four events, but have not had to take on the all-around challenge this year because of the number of girls Broderick has at her disposal.
Olbrys is the team’s go to gymnast, but her top event is the vault where she is a very solid performer. Kelly on the other hand is very versatile and the Coach likes to move her around to the team’s benefit. Outside of the mat, Kelly is really important to the team in terms of motivation and will take a step back in an event if another individual can help the team more.
“Together, Amanda and Charlotte are strong and work well together as the leaders of this team.” Broderick said.
Following the two seniors, Broderick is relying on two sophomores to put up some points in search of wins. Elizabeth Broderick, an all-around and the team’s top point scorer in every event, and Jillian Olbrys are those two upperclasswomen. The younger Olbrys is strong in all four events and usually will compete in three events per match, with bars being her best. Broderick doesn’t have one particular event that she rises above in, but seems that the balance beam is by far her favorite where she packs in a lot of difficulty into her routine.
In addition to the veteran squad, Norwood has had an influx of talented freshman make the team this winter.
“These first-year girls are not only talented, but they bring a motivation,” the Mustang Coach said. “They are hungry and looking to get into the lineup. Their work ethic has definitely set the tone for the future of Norwood gymnastics.”
A couple of Norwood’s freshman that have shown they’ve got what it takes are Reese Barnett and Marion Pastore; both can do anything asked of them. Another freshman powerhouse who has impressed the coach is Celia Frawley, who should bring good things to the team’s future.
“The nice thing about our depth is the number of freshman. They have helped tremendously with the scoring at meets and their motivations keeps them moving forward,” Broderick said. “They really have been a surprise. Year after year, you hear about how good some of the incoming freshman are, but you really don’t know what you are getting until you see them. This year, they have been the real deal.”
Making the adjustment from club gymnastics to high school is usually a big transition for the newer athletes. It’s a challenge, but Broderick is quite pleased with the transformation this year’s incoming class has made to be successful.
If the freshman can add to the talent the Mustangs already have, Norwood just might make school history with this year’s team being the first gymnastics squad to make it to the Sectional Tournament. Only time will tell.
Pastore, Broderick and both Olbrys sisters have all qualified to participate in the Individual State Meet at Tewksbury High School. Broderick will be taking part in the All Around, while Amanda Olbrys qualified on vault, while her sister Jillian Olbrys qualified on the vault, bars and beam. Pastore will take part on the bars, beam and floor.
As a team, the Mustang gymnasts will be competing in the South Sectionals for the first time in school history. Entering the Sectionals, Norwood is seeded seventh.